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I think the question is whether it is an invention or not. A patent is basically a monopoly license given by a government to an inventor so that the inventor has property rights on the invention.

I don't know if BMW invented the multi-link suspension. Most likely it is an old invention with expired patent (my guess).

A better example of a patent is the Wankel engine. Didn't one of your countrymen made lots of money selling the idea to an upstart Japanese car company?

[Edit: :D No, it wasn't a Freudian slip]
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